What “Fascism is capitalism in decay” means


Fascism is capitalism in decay. You may have heard that quote already but
what does it mean? And who said it? That seems like an easy question because the
entire internet seems to be sure that it was the Russian revolutionary Vladimir Ilyich
Lenin who said this but that’s not quite true. I spent more time than I should have trying
to find a source for this but there doesn’t seem to be one. From this I conclude that it wasn’t Lenin
who said it, but someone evidently did so we’ll go with it. I guess our first lesson today is: “Don’t
claim Lenin said this”. Now that that’s out of the way let’s look
at what it’s supposed to mean. For this we break it up into its components
and talk about those for a bit. You should already be familiar with the words
“is” and “in” if you watch English videos, so I’ll ignore those. The word “decay” means to gradually become
worse in this context. I explain this because a lot of my viewers
are from non-English speaking countries and it’s not exactly the most common word is
it? The words “Fascism” and “Capitalism”
are the interesting ones in this context. Capitalism can broadly be described as any
economic system build on the grounds of the free market and private ownership of things
like land and industry. We know it. We live in it. Nothing much new. Let’s move on. Fascism is a political system in which the
state has ultimate powers over everything, and civil liberties are kept at a minimum
or don’t exist at all. Historic examples include Nazi Germany, imperial
Japan and Italy under Mussolini. Who incidentally invented fascism or fascismo
as it’s called in Italian. It’s derived from the Latin word “Fasces
“which refers to a bundle of sticks. The story goes: “A single stick breaks easily
but a bundle of sticks is unbreakable” which shows us the first key feature of fascism. Unity and lack of individuality. Fascists unify under the banner of their group,
usually a race of people, against all others. They claim to be the strongest people of them
all and explain away any evidence to the contrary with some great conspiracy. They are naturally quite xenophobic and some
of the worst things, humanity is capable of, happened under fascist regimes. Fascist economies are usually oriented in
a pseudo-capitalist way. The richest business owners become friends
with the party leadership and get many great government contracts. The state prosecutes anyone who threatens
the profit of the industrialists. That includes unions, socialists and foreign
competition. Fascism isn’t really capitalist, but it
keeps the main features like private property and wage labour. The free market exists in some fascist societies
and not in others. But how are those two things, fascism and
capitalism, connected? And why did someone, remember it wasn’t
Lenin, say that one follows the other? To understand this, we have to look at the
history of capitalism like a Marxist. You could say that we are gonna do a Marxist
analysis of the history of capitalism. In Marxism history and societies are understood
by the systems of production they use. There are many ways you can organise production
believe it or not. For example, there was Feudalism in which
people were born into their social role and all land belonged to the nobility while being
worked by the peasants. This system started, it lived and then it
ended. Then there was slavery and mercantilism both
of which started, lived and then ended. And then came capitalism, it was introduced
during the French revolution, lived through and caused the industrial revolution and then
it died … well almost. Of course, this sounds really weird to viewers
from 2019 since we all know that capitalism didn’t die… at time of recording… but
there was a time where it came a lot closer that most people think. Right after the first world war. The great war, the war that had devastated
empires and destroyed monarchies. The people where angry and the people wanted
a new world. In Russia there as a revolution and in Germany
the socialists had overthrown the Kaiser. Hungary proclaimed itself a socialist republic
and all major nations had massive socialist demonstrations. In 1929 the great depression hit the world
and the people became even more angry. They became tired of being hungry and cold
while the heads of the monopolies where living in luxury. In the united states the communist party was
gaining votes at an unprecedented pace while in Bavaria the radicals proclaimed a new socialist
republic as well. At the time really seemed like the days of
capitalism where numbered. But then Germany, instead of falling to a
socialist revolution as revolutionary Marxists had predicted, went down the route of fascism. The calls for a class less society where replaced
with calls for a society made up purely of Arians. The blame for the economic crisis moved from
the financial sector to Jews. All capitalist problems were blamed on foreigners
or minorities and soon the fascist party had taken over. How did this happen? How did a nation that was mostly made up of
workers go from demanding the end of the monarchy to appointing an all-powerful dictator as
the head of state? There are many answers and every historian
will give you a different interpretation. This doesn’t mean that only one is right. There are many factors and many explanations
could be true at the same time. Knowing that here goes the Marxist explanation
of what happened. Right after the first world war as I mentioned
capitalism seemed to be at it’s end just like all of the economic systems that came
before it. The revolutions in Russia, Hungary and Bavaria
might have seen like the beginning of a new and better age for the workers who stood to
gain everything from this but not everyone was set to win from the abolition of capitalism. Notably Landowners and industrialists, what
a Marxist would call the bourgeoisie, did not like the idea of collectivising their
land and giving up their wealth and privilege. Imagine you are a capitalist living in Germany
who just saw the Russian revolution that deposed all capitalists and took their stuff and gave
it to the masses while severely punishing those capitalists who didn’t want to comply. You probably wouldn’t enjoy that idea. And now you see the German working-class push
for the exact same thing. You probably wouldn’t want to sit around
until there is a revolution, would you? And then the rich and powerful did what they
always do and began to meddle in politics. They paid huge donations to fascist parties
that, until then, had barely gotten any voters. With nearly infinite money and free media
coverage the message of the fascists spread quickly. They picked up many socialist talking points
but manipulated them to suit themselves. Instead of admitting that the financial sector
is structurally exploitative they said that the fault lied with individual people. Jewish people to be more exact. In Germany they even called themselves national
socialists to try to get the vote of the huge amounts of workers who supported socialism
all while putting labour rights activists and union leaders into concentration camps
at the request of their rich friends. When we look at a fascist government we usually
only think of the leader. The head of government, but beneath every
dictator there must be someone who gives him his power and in fascism those people are
the heads of the monopolies. Volkswagen, IG-Farben, Rheinmetall, Krupp,
Henschel, MAN, Daimler Benz, Mauser, The ford motor company and practically every business
that has existed in Germany at the time. Those where Hitler’s friends. In Germany the inmates in concentration camps
where forced to work as slaves for private military and construction companies. And do you know what gas was used in the mass
killings? Cyclone B. That’s not the scientific name
for the gas. It’s a brand name. It was made by a private company with a government
contract. In fascist states the interests of the state
and the interest of the capitalists is the same. While a neoliberal democracy at least tries
to balance the needs of the people with the greed of the capitalists a fascist regime
does not even try that. The capitalists are given contracts for their
businesses and slaves to work for them all for free provided by the dictator. One thing I haven’t mentioned yet is the
way fascism spreads to the people. From what we’ve seen now it only benefits
the rich people that fund the party so why did so many ordinary people become nazis as
well? Because of the main tactic fascists use. Propaganda. They take the anger and frustration the working
class has and turn it around and use it against minorities. Instead of admitting that the first world
war and the economic crisis happened because of the way capitalism works they push the
blame on foreigners. They divide the working class. Instead of allowing a polish and a German
worker to identify as a united and exploited working class they are pitted against each
other so they cannot unite. Instead the German worker is supposed to cooperate
with the German industrialists that exploit him. Fascists use the most primal “Us vs them”
instinct in people to fabricate a conflict build around race instead of class. Then they tell everyone that they can bring
about change. That they will make their nation great again. And that they will make the enemies suffer
if only they get in power. This combined with the infinite funding and
free exposure I mentioned before made sure that they quickly became the part of the government. And as soon as they were in power, they told
the workers to hold out for a little more. That they’d have to continue to work 12
hours a day until the final victory was achieved. This is where we come to the last big feature
of fascism. A distain for socialism. Do you remember how I mentioned that the capitalists
only began to fund the fascists because they where afraid of the socialist revolution in
Russia? They still where. And they wanted to destroy it at any cost. All fascists hate workers rights and they
always talked about destroying the Bolsheviks in Russia. The destruction of socialism is the highest
goal of fascism. So we could feasibly say that fascism is a
reaction of the rich against the threat of the poor. When the poor organise to bring about equality
the rich will turn to fascism which means that when capitalism comes close to falling,
fascism will arise. That means that fascism is what happens when
capitalism decays. Fascism is capitalism in decay. In conclusion. When capitalism fails and the people notice
it and try to begin the change to a new system the rich and powerful become afraid that they
may lose their privileges and they do everything in their power to stop this change. They will fund ultra nationalist parties that
use lies manipulation and fearmongering to divide the workers again. To fabricate a conflict between races instead
of one between classes. And then once in power they remove any idea
of civil liberties to make sure that they can never be brought down again. At least not by an uprising from within.

Maurice Vega

18 Responses

  1. It took around 30 minutes for this to become demonetized. That's longer than I expected.

    EDIT: Aaaaand 20 minutes after release it's monetized again. No clue why because I didn't even bother trying to get it monetized. (Since I talk about antisemetism, fascism, nazis, hitler, slaves and violent revolutions)

    EDIT2: 3 Hours and 7 minutes in it's demonetized again for some reason. I didn't know that bots could change their mind that quickly

  2. I've only been subscribed for a few weeks but I already notice a marked improvement in your presentation and oratory skills. This is fantastic content.

  3. 07:24 "While a neoliberal democracy at least tries to balance the needs of the people with the greed of the capitalists…"

    Press X to doubt

  4. It would be cool if you could do a follow up video to this, giving current examples.
    Like Rassemblement National (France), Alternative für Deutschland (Germany), Partido Social Liberal (Brasil), Lega (Italy) etc.
    I mean all of these parties support very neoliberal politics, while claiming to stand aside with the "simple people".
    Also it would be interesting how the fundings of these parties are.

  5. I don't think you understand how much theory you just packed into a beautifully crafted digestible 10 min video.

    Keep this shit going.

  6. Epic video comrade!
    Are you a native german speaker ? If so it would be really nice if you could upload this video in germam so I can show it to family members who do not speak english that well.

  7. The actual quote is "Imperialism is Capitalism in decay." It was a point Lenin made in his book "Imperialism," which was written before Fascism was a thing. But the thing about the book is that Lenin is effectively describing Fascism before it happens and explains how Fascism builds out of Finance capital and monopolies. He also warns that National Chauvinism (Fascism) would also find support among the Proletariat and many Marxists leaders like the Social Democrats. Trotsky later points out in "What is Fascism" that this was true in hindsight since Mussolini was a former Marxist.
    The overall theory that comes out of it is that capitalism is entering a period of decay in which industrial technology will be suppressed by the Capitalists to secure market advantages against other imperial nations. The Marxists viewed this as a threat to Socialism since industrial production and tech is essential to maintaining a Socialist system. Lenin used this theory to advocate revolution in Russia and other non-industrial nations. Orthodox Marxism stated that only industrialized nations were capable of sustaining Socialism, but Lenin broke from this idea and advocated revolutions in peasant nations to undermine Imperialist strength and send capitalism into a crisis and eventually world revolution.

  8. Let's not forget Large firms, including U.S. employers, cut labor costs drastically. According to Dr. Jacques R. Pauwels in “Profits Above All: American Corporations and Hitler,” Ford-Werke reduced labor costs by 25% under the Nazis. Coca-Cola bragged that workers at the Coke plant in Essen were “little more than serfs forbidden not only to strike, but to change jobs.” Workers were driven to work harder and faster while their wages “were deliberately set quite low.” The Nazis murdered workers in the service of corporations like Krupp and I.G. Farben. The Nazis dissolved labor unions and threw anti-fascists into jail and concentration camps. The profits and power of big business increased in Nazi Germany to unprecedented heights.

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